Africa Direct, a compelling series of short documentaries by all-African film-makers is set to make its debut on Al Jazeera this November.
The stories give voice to African storytellers, who have so often been drowned out or overwhelmed by outsider mediation.
The series comprises 30 short documentaries, curated into half-hour episodes. The first tranche of six half-hours starts airing on Al Jazeera English from November 30 until January 4.
Africa Direct is African stories, told by African storytellers about African lives for audiences across the continent and around the world.
“Documentary storytelling is a hugely influential medium in terms of perceptions of places, people and their power,” says Ingrid Falck, Al Jazeera English Documentaries Manager.
“We have long championed the idea that those who know their stories best should own them in the media, (and) claim their storytelling space.
“We have huge audiences across the continent and show a lot of great Africa-centred content – but the western gaze still casts a long shadow over Africa in a lot of other international media. Africa Direct is a celebration of African documentary talent and of local stories.
“I’m deeply grateful to the superb pan-African teams and filmmakers who’ve delivered these stunning, immersive and thought-provoking short documentaries, for our global viewers.”
Some of the films to look out for include “On the White Nile” by Akuol de Mabior, “The Young Cyclist” by Yuhi Amuli, and “Throttle Queens” by Joan Kabugu.
Al Jazeera partnered with Big World Cinema for this project: it is entirely based within Africa. The team includes executive producer Steven Markovitz (South Africa), series producers Angele Diabang (Senegal) and Brian Tilly (South Africa).
“We received over 300 proposals from 31 countries… It was an extraordinary experience reading and assessing the wide range of stories from across the continent,” says Markovitz.
Watch the series on Al Jazeera English, from 30 November at 10:30 pm.